New York Criminal Lawyer

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The state of New York is home to some of the finest criminal law attorneys in the world. There are lawyers and firms which specialize in all types of crime, and which have extensive experience in New York criminal law. If you have been accused of a crime, speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

The definition of a crime is a violation of penal law that results in prosecution. Laws are made at different levels of government, such as local, state and federal. New York is a unique state due to its high level of white-collar crime. Manhattan is the financial hub of the country and home base for many corporations. Some common examples of white-collar crime, which are classified as felonies, include (but are not limited to) embezzlement, fraud, racketeering, and tax evasion.

Criminal law includes violent crime, financial crimes and misdemeanors. Cases involving violent crime, like rape, murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and torture, are treated much differently than others, for the safety of society. The purpose of criminal law is to rehabilitate the criminal and remove him or her from the public sphere, to deter other criminals, and to give comfort to the victim.

Misdemeanors are less serious offenses, and can include such crimes as vandalism, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, DUI, drug possession, simple assault, petty theft or jaywalking. Misdemeanors generally are punishable by less than one year in a county or local jail, whereas felonies are usually subject to longer sentences and the felon is incarcerated in a state or federal prison. Persons convicted of a crime may be also be fined, required to complete a rehabilitation program for drugs or alcohol, or sentenced to community service or probation.

There are also civil cases, which involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, a state prosecutor initiates the suit, while the victim brings the suit in a civil case. Persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated.

Even if you are arrested for a crime, you still have basic human rights and constitutional guarantees. You are innocent until proven guilty and you have the right to a public trial in a speedy manner. You have the right to see the evidence against you and the right to a trial in front of a jury of your peers.

You also have the right to defend yourself in a court of law, but the procedures and law are so complicated that, unless you have extensive legal knowledge and training, this is usually not advisable.

Even if you are guilty of the crime with which you are charged, you can fight to get a reduced charge or a plea deal. Criminal attorneys in New York should be able to give you valuable advice about all your options and the best way to move forward with your case.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to a public defender. One of the advantages of public defenders is the familiarity between the public defender's office and the prosecutors. If you have a public defender, he or she will probably know the prosecutor of your case and can use this knowledge to benefit your case, whether by asking for a plea bargain or by knowing what to expect if you go to court.

If you have been charged with a crime, even if you are not guilty, you need a criminal attorney to assist you in every step of the process. Before taking any other action after your arrest, contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website. The ABA features a lawyer locator, which can help you search for a criminal lawyer or attorney in New York. Access if free. Do not let your future rest on uncertainty; get the professional help you need on your side for your fight.